Jury hears from tattoo artist in ex-NFL star’s murder trial

Jury hears from tattoo artist in ex-NFL star's murder trial

BOSTON — A California tattoo artist detailed to jurors Friday the violent artwork he inked on Aaron Hernandez that prosecutors say memorialize the former New England Patriots star’s killing of two men.

David Nelson testified Friday in a Boston courtroom that Hernandez visited Hermosa Ink in Hermosa Beach, California, in 2013 with a specific tattoo in mind for his right arm.

The former standout right end wanted an image of a revolver with the gun barrel facing forward, as if pointing at the viewer.

Nelson said Hernandez instructed him to draw five bullets visible in the cylinder of the gun and one cylinder empty.

Hernandez also had Nelson ink two separate gun muzzles, a spent shell casing and the phrase “God Forgives” etched backward so that it could only be read in a mirror. Nelson said he also tattooed the phrase “Blood. Sweat. Tears.” on Hernandez’s right hand.

Prosecutors said the tattoos are evidence Hernandez killed two men in 2012

Authorities said Hernandez fired five shots from a revolver into a car outside a Boston nightclub club, killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. Prosecutors said Hernandez killed the men after one of them bumped into him at the nightclub earlier that night and spilled his drink.

Hernandez’s lawyers have strongly denied the prosecutor’s theories about the tattoos.

During his cross examination of Nelson on Friday, defence attorney Jose Baez appeared to make light of the argument.

At one point, he jokingly asked Nelson if he’d also inked gun tattoos for Rihanna, Angelina Jolie and other celebrities.

Hernandez already is serving a life sentence for killing Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player who had been dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee, in 2013.

The Associated Press